A man who was riding an e-bike when he allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian in East London has appeared in court accused of causing death by dangerous driving in what is believed to be the first case of its kind, with the prosecution asserting that the bicycle exceeded permitted power limits.
Sakine Cihan, aged 56, died in hospital in September last year a fortnight after sustaining serious head injuries in a collision involving the rider of an e-bike while she was crossing Kingsland Road, Dalston, at 5pm on 28 August 2018.
Yesterday Thomas Hanlon, aged 31 and from Finsbury Park, appeared at the Old Bailey on a charge of causing death by dangerous driving, reports Mail Online.
The offence falls under section 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, which applies to motor vehicles.
Bicycles do not generally fall under the scope of the act.
However, electric bikes which have a power output in excess of 250 Watts and a power-assisted speed in excess of 15.5 miles per hour are regarded as a speed pedelec and must be registered with the DVLA.
The rider of an e-bike exceeding those permitted limits must be licensed and insured, and is subject to the same laws as motorists.
Nathan Rasiah, prosecuting, told the court: “In this case the evidence suggests it was travelling in excess of the road limit and the limit for the bike.
“If they [electric bikes] exceed a certain speed or power you do need a licence.”
Besides the causing death by dangerous driving charge, Hanlon – who has yet to enter a plea – was also charged with causing death while unlicensed and causing death while uninsured.
He has been bailed and will stand trial on 24 February next year.
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Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.